Korean cinema has been creating some gut-wrenching thrillers for quite a long time now. It is observed that the way they have gone with their cinema and the direction given to it is so apt and on point with most of the films. Specially thrillers have a language and class of their own. One such thriller movie was released in 2017 – A Netflix film, ‘Forgotten’, written and directed by Jang Hang-jun.
Forgotten is a thriller on the lines of Oldboy, to some extent. Yes, Oldboy is a cult classic that can’t be touched or compared but this somewhere lets out vibes of it. Forgotten can be called a revenge drama to some extent. The movie starts with Jan-Seok (Kang Ha-neul) not being able to remember the past or the house he sees in front of him. He seems to be a patient of anxiety who consumes anti-anxiety pills and gets scared of anything abrupt happening around him. His dreams are scary and at times to mysterious to be puzzled down. Jan-Seok visits his new house with his parents and his brother, Yoo-Seok (Kim Mu-yeol). Jan admires his brother a lot and is in awe of his behaviour and achievements. He hints that people do envy his brother and he is kind of perfect. Yoo, on the other hand, seems to be a very carrying brother and the ideal boy to have around. The story progresses ahead with the father (Moon Seong-geun) alerting their sons, not to visit a room that was closed and was requested by the earlier owner, not to enter. The tension starts right from the word go when Jan hears a sound from that suspicious room and is denied of listening to any such things by everyone besides him.
The story unfolds in a very mysterious way. Jan is seemed to be suffering from anxiety and during that process, Yoo is shown to be abducted and it affects Jan, a lot and he is unable to take the burden, mentally. Yoo returns after 19 days of his abduction and pretends as if he remembers nothing. The journey goes ahead with some crisp twists and it blows your mind when you reach the midpoint of the film. Reveal after reveal holds your attention and draws you into this edge of the seat thriller. It has moments of horror and mystery, questions your mind to an extent where you draw too many parallels and seek the reveal. There are few chasing scenes that are wonderfully shot by Kim Il-yeon. Some tilt camera shots are perfectly executed to increase the tension of scenes. Unlike Oldboy, it doesn’t offer action and moments of shock to that extent but definitely, it has its own share of mysterious reveals that are enough to hook you around. Yes, the latter half or the third act of the film dips but still provides a fair share of curiosity and the answers to inquisitive questions built in the first half.
Special mention to the BGM scored by Kim Tae-hoon. Moments of eeriness, goriness and tension are brilliantly scored and backed by. Performances do stand out here and especially Kim Mu-yeol, which takes the most amazing piece of the cake. Also, the mother (Na Young-hee) deserves applause for her shrewd and sharp portrayal. Forgotten is that film that won’t be easily forgotten and even after the credits roll down, it will stay with you. It has its emotional share and mysterious thrilling part, combined well to land a good thriller on its proper runway. A good mysterious thriller with a pinch of emotional moments to fill your visual kitty.
Disclaimer: The above review solely illustrates the views of the writer.